Heilemann: Trump’s Unmarked Paramilitary Units are Trial Run for ‘Trying to Steal This Election’

Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” network national affairs analyst John Heilemann said President Donald Trump would use unidentified federal agents like the ones he sent to Portland to use force “to try to steal this election.”

Heilemann said, “This is not just performative authoritarianism. This is authoritarianism. These are paramilitary units. These are the things we have seen in authoritarian regimes in third world countries throughout the second half of the 20th century. This is not a mystery what’s going on here. I think to look at this through the prism of symbolic politics, the law and order campaign, Trump trying to rerun the Nixon playbook is true but doesn’t go far enough we’re looking here—this is a dark —I don’t want to be overly alarmist about this, but this is the time to be alarmist knowing where Donald Trump stands politically, understanding where we are headed in this election.”

He continued, “I think we are looking at potentially a trial run for a kind of — a genuine attempt to, through intimidation, and potentially through force, to try to — to try to steal this election.”

He added, “I think we are now at the point where we see the things that the president is doing, we see his intention to not accept an outcome of the election where he loses to Joe Biden. He’s making it very clear and some of it is rhetoric about mail-in voting, but when the next thing, the next breath is he’s talking about sending unmarked paramilitary guards to blue states with very blue cities run by Democratic mayors, I think we should all take seriously the prospect that this is a dress rehearsal, a trial run for first an attempt at voter intimidation on election day. Are these unmarked paramilitary units going to be doing security at the polls in battleground states? I think that’s a question we’d like to have answered. That is potentially an effort at voter intimidation, and what happens in the overtime period? Anyone serious about the election recognizes, listening to the president that there’s a high likelihood he’s not going to concede if he loses on election night.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


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